This past weekend, a group from Conway, AR (and a few from Sulphur Springs, TX) made the trek to Georgetown, TX hoping to learn more about the area where we will plant a church next year. Before the trip, I specifically asked God to show us something new and to meet someone new. I believe He answered that prayer!
Let me share with you what we heard, what we saw, and who me met.
What we HEARD.
On Saturday night, I was asked, “Why plant a church in Georgetown?” I quickly began spouting off statistics about the need for church planting in the U.S. I quoted biblical mandates of how we are called to “go.” Still, I could tell my analytical, stat-based reply did not inspire my audience. I could answer the question, “why plant a church,” but I missed the mark on “why Georgetown?”
The next morning, the Lord supplied a much better, heart-tugging, hair-on-the-arm-standing answer. That morning, I had the privilege of visiting with a church planter (of a three year old church in Georgetown). He shared about his recent conversation with another local pastor. In summary he said, “We don’t have enough churches to accommodate the 10,000 people moving to Georgetown over the next 5 years, not to mention the 65,000 people who already live here!”
That’s IT! That’s why God is leading us to plant a church in Georgetown, TX. Because every life matters.
It was encouraging to hear a local pastor welcome us in their city to help reach the lost and minister to the hurting.
What we SAW.
As Erin and I drove around town, we were bombarded with advertising for new neighborhoods. There’s not just an explosion of new homes being built. There’s an explosion of new neighborhoods and communities being master planned.
Also, this trip was the first time we were in Georgetown on the weekend. One thing was quickly evident…people were out! Hundreds of locals gathered at the Blue Hole, a favorite swimming spot in the San Gabriel River. Our group saw many people out running and walking the 25 miles of track that connects each of the Georgetown parks. We also witnessed a busy town square, where residents ate, shopped, and enjoyed the live music.
We also saw deer. Lots and lots of deer.
Who we MET.
The people of Georgetown are friendly and easy to talk to. Erin and I enjoyed an evening meal with a local family and sensed a natural connection and growing excitement about the possibility of them coming alongside Antioch Georgetown. Our group also met Justin and Brandi Roppolo through the connection of Jason and Toya Aultman. Justin and Brandi graciously opened up their home to us. We ordered pizza, played games, swam to our hearts content, and enjoyed visiting with the Roppolo family.
It was surreal to notice how we were in the town we’re moving to in 10 months, with a group of people we met 10 months ago, having dinner with a family we met 10 minutes ago.
This trip was special. There were 34 of us (14 being kids). There were late nights, lots of bathroom breaks, questions, discoveries. And in all the chaos, there was a supernatural knitting together of hearts. Just as God knits us in our mothers womb, we are witnessing the handiwork of God knitting His church together.